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Elections officials weigh cancelling county committee races

Still no decision on coming months’ races

By Nikita Biryukov, March 17 2020 12:14 pm

Election officials from the state and counties holding school board and municipal races over the next two months floated cancelling this year’s county committee races during a conference Tuesday.

The call’s main purpose was to gather information about how prepared the counties were to conduct the April and May elections entirely through mail-in ballots.

No decisions were reached on the call, which was conducted among a tighter group of elections officials than a Monday call during which New Jersey Division of Elections Director Bob Giles, who was on Tuesday’s call, broadly outlined a plan to conduct local elections without in-person polling places.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday said he expects to have enough information to make a decision on the coming months’ elections sometime this week.

No such decision is expected out of Tuesday’s COVID-19 briefing, which Secretary of State Tahesha Way will not attend.

Tuesday’s call focused mainly on pre-primary races, though participants floated some changes to the state’s June 2 primary.

Among those proposals were ones that called for the June primary to be delayed or conducted entirely through mail-in ballots.

Clerks also floated cancelling this year’s county committee elections and extending county committee members’ terms until next year, citing issues with the circulation and submission of nominating petitions and hand counting of all-vote-by-mail results.

State and county elections officials will hold another call focusing on the June primary tomorrow.

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